September 20, 2010
| by Arlen Schweiger
There should be warnings for NFL Network’s NFL RedZone channel viewers like there are for 3D. It could seriously be hazardous to your health.
It’s also about the most incredible channel to arrive on TV for the male viewership probably since
Cinemax the MLB Network, only it’s way cooler.
I spent my first Sunday in front of a TV featuring RedZone for Verizon’s FiOS this weekend. Unfortunately, my cable provider, Charter, doesn’t even offer the original NFL Network, never mind RedZone—and that’s probably a good thing in my house.
However, Comcast subscribers are enjoying their first season of NFL action on what seems like steroids and amphetamines thanks to the channel’s arrival as part of its Sports Entertainment Package.
I had no idea what I was in for as I headed to a buddy’s house for a guy’s afternoon of football, food and beverages. We were there ostensibly to watch the 4 p.m. Patriots-Jets game, but the early afternoon slate of games (and the Pats’ ruinous second half against the Jets) was the highlight.
Or should I say highlights? Pretty soon after we began watching RedZone, a new experience for all of us there, the jokes began to fly about how we were going to start twitching and seizing soon. If you’re unfamiliar with RedZone, NFL Network host Scott Hanson does all of the remote control flipping for you—especially when any team gets inside of the 20-yard-line, obviously. And even when there aren’t any, you get big plays, highlights, or replays to fill the gaps, of which there aren’t many with eight to 10 games going on at once.
Did I mention that there are no commercials? Right, you seriously have to have your breaks well-timed, otherwise you will definitely miss key action. It’s truly dizzying. Of course, you may need to have a fantasy player or two to care about games like Tampa Bay-Carolina or Kansas City-Cleveland, but you quickly find yourself sucked in anyway. The adult beverage drinking, by the way, I think helps your brain calm down a little after the initial sensory overload.
You get the national CBS and Fox feeds, and commentators, in high-def as things switch from game to game. Plus, at least with the Verizon FiOS package we were watching, there’s a widget available to alert you to RedZone info even if you aren’t tuned in (like if you happen to be watching your actual local CBS affiliate instead), which tells you the score, down and what yard line the team is on.
Granted, we’ve shown off our share of multiple-display theaters for optimizing fall Sundays ... but if you only have one TV to view, here’s hoping you get RedZone (and not divorced).
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.